For business professional Taylor Rabbetz, walking away from a successful career in business to become a chiropractor wasn’t easy. But he couldn’t ignore his growing passion for helping patients.
“I love what I do: being a chiropractor and helping patients achieve optimal health,” he said.
He’s not the first chiropractor who came to the profession later in life, with no previous health-care experience. In fact, mid-life career changes are becoming increasingly common, and many of today’s chiropractic graduates come from diverse career backgrounds.
Now that the official Social Security retirement age has climbed to 67, some of us can expect to spend 40 years or more in the workforce. That’s a long time to follow just one career path—so many people are choosing not to.
The average Baby Boomer has held 11 different jobs by age 46. Individuals in Gen X envision changing jobs even more than their parents, with three out of four anticipating a return to school during their working years. And 91% of Millennials expect to switch jobs every three years.
Overall, more than half of today’s workforce is interested in switching careers.
Many mid-life career changers end up pursuing some form of natural healing, often out of a desire to help others. Student Nathan McClain left his job as a deputy sheriff in New Mexico to do just that.
Some are drawn to chiropractic because they’ve been helped by a chiropractor themselves and want to pay it forward. Dr. John Artis worked in pharmaceutical sales before chiropractic transformed his health, and then his career.
No health-care experience needed
Chiropractic colleges frequently attract older students coming from a wide range of previous careers. One study of chiropractic students found the average age was 31 years old—with ages ranging up to 58. Many had left behind jobs as managers, administrative staff, professionals or skilled laborers.
And it’s no wonder. Chiropractic has been named the “most secure job in America,” with an unemployment rate of just 0.1 percent. Chiropractic careers are expected to grow 17 percent by 2024, and chiropractors tend to enjoy high levels of job satisfaction.
It helps that the lack of health-care experience poses no barrier to entry for would-be chiropractors. As long as they meet their school’s admission requirements, they’ll learn everything they need to know while completing their doctor of chiropractic program. They’ll have access to hands-on learning and fieldwork programs that can provide all the experience necessary to get started as a chiropractor.
Upon graduation, chiropractic students are fully empowered to get a job in the field or set up a private practice. While a background in another healthcare-related field can be helpful, it won’t make or break a student’s success.
Requirements for Palmer College
The first hurdle in becoming a chiropractor is meeting your chosen college’s admission requirements. While health-care experience isn’t necessary, some previous science education is.
Most students earn a bachelor’s degree before entering a doctor of chiropractic program—but not all of them. In one study, only 36% of chiropractic students who responded had university degrees. However, chiropractic schools do typically require at least three years of undergraduate education for admission.
At Palmer College, we require:
- Minimum of 90 undergraduate credit hours
- GPA of 3.0 or greater (on a 4.0 scale)
- 24 semester hours in life and physical sciences with labs
For individuals considering a mid-life career change, switching to a career in chiropractic is not only possible—it’s highly doable. Contact us to learn more about what it takes to join our doctor of chiropractic program.